Changing a Spanish will

Inheritance Fri, 26 Oct 2012
Changing a Spanish will

Making a will in Spain is not compulsory but it’s a good idea. It cuts down on the work and expense for those you leave behind you. However, you need to think carefully about what it might contain not only from the point of view of Spanish inheritance tax but also changing circumstances. Changing a Spanish will is not just a matter of altering a few sentences or adjusting the wording. Instead, the whole document needs to be re-written.

There is a good reason for this. In Spain, unlike in some other European countries, every will is registered in Madrid. This is a good system that ensures that every will can be easily located. However, it does mean that changing a will in Spain is not so easy to do.  Once your will is legalised and signed by the notary, Madrid is informed and then it is set in stone until the next one.

The advice we give to clients, given this, is that you don’t include little details in the will that might change. Obviously, there are some circumstances that might alter and cannot be helped, justifying a re-write. However, the more detail you include the more open your will is going to be to needing amendments. Keeping directions more general can help avoid unnecessary expense at a later date.


My Husband and I are both non residents and live in the UK.We have a property in Spain At this moment our Spanish will leaves the property to the surviving spouse.We would like to change this to leave the property to our 3 children.I am OK to travel to Spain but unfortunately
due to health reasons my Husband cannot and not in the foreseeable future.Is there a way to do this
Many thanks

Dear Jean

Yes. It is possible to arrange for your husband to sign at a notary in the UK. If you contact our office we will be able to help. 

Leave your comment

Spain Explained by Ábaco Advisers

Request a Call Back

Our specialists are always ready to give you a call.

Call me back

Share in

The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Property in Spain

Get the handbook that will ensure you buy your dream property smoothly and safer

The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Property in Spain